Poverty remains a persistent issue in the United States, affecting nearly 38 million people, which accounts for 11.6% of the population.
This stark contrast between economic prosperity and hardship is evident as wealthy pockets coexist with poverty-stricken communities, with Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics being the most affected.
In a comprehensive analysis, we explore the 25 poorest states in America based on poverty rates and education levels.
Additionally, we delve into the efforts made by corporations to address these challenges and uplift economically disadvantaged regions.
Mississippi stands as the poorest state in America with a poverty rate of 18.1% in 2021, followed closely by Louisiana and New Mexico.
Conversely, New Hampshire boasts the lowest poverty rate at only 5.6%, reflecting a significant disparity in economic prosperity between states.
Intriguingly, there exists a correlation between poverty and education levels.
Tackling Poverty and Education Disparities of Americans
Unbelievably, 21 of the 25 states with the lowest levels of education are also among the 25 states with the worst rates of poverty.
West Virginia emerges as the least educated state in the US, with only 36% of the population aged 18 to 24 holding a college or associate degree, and a mere 14.2% of the population aged 25 and above possessing a bachelor’s or undergraduate degree.
Recognizing the urgency of combating poverty, several corporations have taken active measures to promote economic growth and opportunities in impoverished states.
- Microsoft Corporation: Through its TechSpark program, Microsoft expanded its initiatives to Jackson, Mississippi, with a focus on providing digital skills and access to communities vulnerable to being left behind in the digital economy.
- 100 students will receive training and hands-on cybersecurity experience through Jackson State University’s Cybersecurity Readiness Program as part of the program.
- Additionally, the CoBuilder Accelerator Program supports local startups, providing training and funding opportunities.
- Wells Fargo & Company: Partnering with the nonprofit organization ideas42, Wells Fargo has committed $15 million to accelerate economic activity in low and middle-income regions.
- This initiative aims to bolster economic growth and provide opportunities to underserved communities.
- Amazon.com, Inc.: Investing up to $2 billion in affordable housing initiatives in cities where it operates major facilities, Amazon.com seeks to support families in achieving long-term stability and build stronger communities.
- Tennessee, a state heavily impacted by poverty, has benefited significantly from Amazon’s contributions, including over $13 billion in infrastructure investments and the creation of more than 20,000 jobs.